Music for Solo Guitar by Lou Harrison performed by David Tanenbaum on National steel guitar at Other Minds Music Festival 8 in March 2002 in San Francisco, California.
Lou Harrison: Scenes from Nek Chand (2001-02) world premiere of the last work completed by the composer before his death on 2 February 2003. Dedicated to David Tanenbaum, Carol Law and Charles Amirkhanian. Commissioned by Other Minds with funds from Betty Freeman.
The Leaning Lady The Rock Garden The Sinuous Arcade With Swings in the Arches.
As Harrison explained: While mother played an afternoon of Mah Jong with friends, we children listened to records or the radio. We heard a lot of Hawaiian music and I can remember the sliding and waving guitar tones over a gap of almost eighty years. The wonderful sculpture and architecture of Nek Chand, near Chandigarh set me to composing three small pieces in admiration. My friend Dave Scully very kindly lent his richly-toned steen guitar for me to explore for composing. National Reso-Phonic Guitars of San Luis Obispo loaned an instrument to the consummate artist David Tanenbaum for this premiere performance. Unlike the classical guitar, the National steel has cone resonator inside the body thta acts as a kind of amplifier. Invented in the late 1920s, the instrument has been revived by Natoinal Reso-Phonic which now produces an exotic array of these wonderful instruments. The score, commissioned by Other Minds, with funds from a gift from Betty Freeman, has a dedication page that reads, "for Charles Amirkhanian & Carol Law, with thanks for many kindnesses, and for David Tanenbaum, who was willing to play it. -Lou Harrison Note: This performance employs just intonation. A commercial recording on the New Albion label (see Other Minds' webstore for availability) presents the piece in its intended "just" intonation and casts a thoroughly different light on the music. -Charles Amirkhanian
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